Monday, November 30, 2015

PhD project opportunity

PhD project opportunity: 
The role of diet and feeding regime in captive felid health and welfare

An exciting project is currently being developed with a multi-national group of scientists, aiming to investigate the impact of dietary fibre and fasting in the health and welfare of captive lions, tigers and cheetahs. Our research collaboration includes institutions and specialists in the USA and UK, with cross-disciplinary expertise in animal welfare, nutrition, endocrinology, behaviour, and digestive physiology.

This 3-year project will take a holistic approach to the investigation of the role of diet and feeding regime in carnivore welfare. The project aims are to (a) describe and compare a variety of health parameters associated with two alternative diets in three carnivore species, and (b) determine and compare the effect of these two alternative diets on felid response to fasting. The PhD candidate would play an integral role within the team, and take responsibility for study implementation, data collection, laboratory and data analyses, and data interpretation. The project will provide training in a variety of novel, modern laboratory, behavioural and analytical techniques, alongside the opportunity to work in an internationally renowned zoological facility in the USA.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from graduate researchers wishing to undertake their PhD in this field. Several grant applications are currently under review to fund this project (including student stipend and tuition fees), but interested applicants should be prepared to assist in further grant-writing procedures, if necessary, prior to this role being formally offered. The successful candidate will hold a first-class honours undergraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. animal science, biology, behaviour, physiology), and will ideally have completed (or be nearing completion of) a post-graduate degree or have similar work experience demonstrating a high standard of research skills in a relevant subject. Candidates with substantial laboratory-based experience will also be preferred. As the PhD will be hosted by a UK University, only applicants with EU citizenship will be eligible to apply, and the candidates must be resident in the UK at the time of application.  A significant amount of international travel is required as part of this project, including 6-8 months per year spent living in the USA, for at least the first two years of the project.  The project is anticipated to commence in September 2016.

Expressions of interest should be forwarded to Dr. Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd at Please include a detailed CV and a motivation letter describing why you are interested in this project and what skills and attributes you would offer the project.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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